Persevering through the pandemic - Part 2
Practical tips for life at home
In the first segment of this series, I talked about how we can persevere well through this global COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that we focus our thoughts, laugh, and give ourselves permission to grieve. In this segment, we are going to get practical. I like to hear philosophies and ideas but when I am juggling the new reality of homeschooling, cooking 500 times a day, and not having any face to face girlfriend time...I need hands-on tips. Two problems we are adjusting to include; doing school at home and meal planning and preparation.
Homeschool - Our new normal.
Don’t laugh but we are pre-dating the one-room schoolhouse and homeschooling has become the new normal. I homeschooled my kids (by choice) when they were preschool age. During that time I learned some best practices that made it doable.
Cooking - Meal planning, preparation, and cleanup 24/7.
After the second week of social distancing the enthusiasm I felt about stretching my culinary skills was wearing thin. At first, I was excited to bake my own bread and try out making French Macarons. However, the reality was that my kitchen became a 24/7 diner. I was the short-order cook responsible for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. When asked, “What are we having for dinner?” I would stare blankly in the refrigerator hoping the answer would already be prepared. Here are a few tips that might help you out in your meal planning saga!
Leftovers are lifesavers.
More than a decade ago I started a blog called Leftover Remix. The idea was that I would share with the reader how to use one meal to make two or three different meals. For example, pot roast one night became beef wasabi quesadilla’s the next night. I would “remix” meals from what I had. I came to realize there are several cuisines or food types that can almost be made from ANY type of leftover. Here they are with some suggestions.
If you are running out of ideas, try out a vegetarian option. Baked pasta dishes are fabulous with or without meat and they are almost always crowd-pleasers. I love Cookie + Kate because she has a lot of recipes that will satisfy the most discerning carnivores.
Cooks don’t clean.
In our house whoever cooks doesn’t have to do the cleanup. This motivates the other members of my household to offer to cook! It also, allows me to rest once the cooking is complete. Either way, this is a win-win rule to adopt.
Use meal planning delivery or service.
I have used a meal planning program for years called, “E-Meals.” I love it. It is a weekly meal plan with recipes and shopping lists all in one. Also, you can customize it by your family dietary type. It is by far my favorite that I have tried. If you are more likely to cook when everything is portioned and delivered to your door use options like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.
Local restaurants still need our business even though we are eating at home more regularly. Make a plan to order a pizza or take-out once in a while to give your in-house diner staff a break.
Our world has changed and so we are adapting. This time can feel overwhelming but it can give us an opportunity to stretch. We are capable of adopting new patterns, learning new rhythms, and trying new things. This pandemic is a perfect reason to get creative. One of the things I have learned from Lee Burns, while attending Hillsong College is that “Failure is just feedback.” So I might try a bunch of different ways to get through this pandemic. Not all of them will work for me or my family, BUT I’m gonna continue to try new things. What new things have you tried? What’s working? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.